Got a griddle, but not sure of the best way to clean it? Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to clean any carbon steel flat top grill, including Blackstone and Camp Chef griddles! We’re turning your grubby griddle into a gleaming gem, so clean you’ll want to show it off. When it comes to griddles, the right cleaning method makes all the difference. Whatever you’re dealing with—stuck-on remnants, excess grease, or even those mysterious bits of food that look like they might be permanently affixed—we’re tackling it all. 

For those of you venturing into the world of outdoor griddles for the first time, fear not. It might seem intimidating, but cleaning your griddle is easier than you think. From the surface of the grill to the grease trap and everything in between, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to guide you through the process. If you’re ready for a sparkling clean flat top grill that’s prepped for flipping pancakes on a Sunday morning or searing steaks under the stars, buckle up, grab your bench scraper, and let’s get that griddle goin’. 

First up?

Round Up Your Cleaning Arsenal

Let’s talk gear. You wouldn’t climb a mountain without the right equipment, right? Likewise, you don’t want to tackle griddle cleaning without your trusty tools. And to be honest, you don’t need much. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper Towels: For cleaning, naturally.
  • Bench Scraper or Flat Metal Spatula: Which moonlight as griddle cleaners. NOTE: ALWAYS make sure that the entire edge of these scrapers meet your grill, never just the corner of these scrapers, as this can damage your griddle! Always sweep in a motion perpendicular to how you’re holding your scraper, not parallel to it. (If you’re holding it horizontally, sweep vertically, and vice versa.)
  • High Smoke Point Oil: Such as vegetable, canola, soybean, sunflower, coconut, or avocado for seasoning your grill.

It’s crucial to note that you should not use soap on your grill surface because it will strip it of its seasoning, which you will need to keep it nonstick.

 

Types of Griddles & Special Care Considerations

Not all griddles are created equal. Though this guide is specifically for carbon steel griddles, let’s talk about different griddle materials for a second. Each has its own quirks, and each material has its own special considerations. Let’s explore the three main types of griddles.

Carbon Steel Griddles

Carbon steel griddles are basically the lightweight champion of griddles, but they’re also the most popular choice. They heat up quickly, retain heat like a dream, and can handle almost any dish you throw at them. Whether you’re looking to achieve a delicate char on fish, make a mean grilled cheese, or smash burgers to perfection, their non-stick surface evolves with every use thanks to the magic of seasoning.

Special Care Considerations:

  • Hand Wash Only: Treat this griddle with love. You’ll need to hand wash it after each use and dry it thoroughly to prevent any rust.
  • Seasoning is Key: Whether it comes pre-seasoned or you start from scratch, you’re going to need to maintain that seasoning layer to keep it non-stick and make it last.

Cast Iron Griddles

Cast iron griddles are the heavyweights of the griddle world—quite literally, actually. They’re really great at getting hot and staying hot, which makes them ideal for searing meats and cooking large quantities of food with ease. Their heat retention is unmatched, so you’re guaranteed to get even cooking across the entire surface.

Special Care Considerations:

  • Cleaning and Drying: Just like carbon steel, cast iron needs to be cleaned and dried immediately after use to avoid rust.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning process for cast iron differs somewhat from carbon steel, but it’s just as important to keep your surface of the flat top grill non-stick.

Non-Stick Griddles

For those who hate cleanup, the non-stick griddle is your best friend. It’s also the breakfast lover’s griddle. You can flip pancakes and frying eggs, and your food will always slide off the surface effortlessly, so there is almost no scraping needed.

Special Care Considerations:

  • Avoid Metal Utensils: To keep the non-stick surface scratch-free, steer clear of metal tools. Opt for silicone or wooden utensils instead.
  • Hand Wash Only: The dishwasher is a no-go zone for your non-stick griddle. Hand wash it to preserve both the coating and the integrity of the metal base.

 

Things to Know Before You Start Cleaning Your Carbon Steel Griddle

Keeping your griddle is about more than just elbow grease. You gotta be a little clever in how you approach cooking altogether. Here are some pre-cleaning tips to keeping that griddle surface so fresh and so clean clean.

Clean Your Griddle as You Go

You know that moment while cooking, when the surface starts to look a bit like a crime scene? That’s your cue. Grab your bench scraper and show that stuck-on foods who’s boss! Then slide all that gunk right into the grease tray. This little trick is a game-changer, especially when it comes to those sugary sauces that love to cling onto your griddle like a koala to a tree.

Early Burner Retirement

Now, this might sound a bit strange to you, but turn off the burners just before you’re done cooking. Why, you ask? Your griddle holds enough residual warmth to nudge your food across the finish line, and turning it off at the 90% mark keeps all that extra juice / grease / food bits from turning into a charred relic of a meal once loved. This trick also keeps the flat surface clean-up friendly. Trust me. Your elbows will thank you.

 

The Step-by-Step Griddle Cleaning Process

Roll up your sleeves. It’s time for the MAIN EVENT! Here’s your go-to guide for keeping your flat top grill in beautiful condition.

Step 1: Get Your Scrape On (While You Cook)

Like we mentioned, start the cleaning process while you’re cooking. Stubbornly clingy food debris. Meet bench scraper. (*tiny screams* ahhhh… nooooo!) Into the grease trough with you! This step will save you SO much time and effort later. Also, don’t forget to turn off that grill a little early!

Step 2: Get Your Scrape On (After You’re Done Cooking)

You’re done cooking, you’ve plated your food, and the grill is still hot. It’s time again to grab your trusty bench scraper (some people also prefer a flat metal spatula) and essentially repeat step 1. Scrape those bits right into the grease trap.

Step 3: Wipe On. Wipe Off.

The stage is cleared and now it’s time for a wipe down. Grab some paper towels and gently wipe the entire cooking surface (Mr. Miyagi style optional), carefully, as the surface is still hot. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies of the sidewalls and the grease trough area. This not only dries off your grill (because rust is the last thing we want), but it also spreads a thin layer of residual cooking oil, which preps it for its final act…

Step 4: The Seasoning Finale

Your flat top grill might be clean, but we’re not done yet! While it’s still hot, drizzle a bit of your favorite seasoning oil (I like avocado oil for its high smoke point and mild flavor) across the griddle surface. Gently rub it in with a paper towel, and cover the entire surface with a very thin layer of oil. When that’s done, fire up your burners to medium and let that oil embrace the heat for about 10 minutes. This is a crucial step as it will keep your grill non-stick and protect it ’til your next cooking endeavor.

Uh-oh: You Let The Grill Cool

Let’s say you skipped the post-dinner cleanup and woke up to a messy griddle. While this is not great for your grill, no judgment here. Simply set your griddle heat to low to loosen the stuck-on food and start back on step 2. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 

Why Season Your Griddle?

You can think of seasoning your griddle as building a friendship. (🎶People, let me tell you ’bout my besssst friennnd.🎶) It takes a bit of effort upfront, but it’s all worth it in the end. When you tend to your griddle by seasoning it, your griddle will be kind to you (and your food). 

  • Why Season?: Seasoning creates a protective layer on the surface of your griddle. This layer defends your griddle against rust and creates a nonstick surface for cooking pancakes, eggs, and more without them sticking like gum on a shoe.
  • The Best Oils for the Job: High smoke point oils are what you want. Think canola oil or vegetable oil. I like avocado oil best. These oils can take the heat without breaking a sweat, which makes them perfect for creating a non-stick patina.
  • The Seasoning Process: Whether it’s your first time with a new Blackstone griddle or you’re giving your old friend a deep clean, the process is the same. Clean the surface, cover the entire surface with a thin layer of your chosen oil, and heat it up to low., covering the entire surface. Let the oil smoke, then cool down your griddle. If it’s your first time using the griddle, repeat this process a few times.

 

FAQs

Can I use stainless steel wool or scouring pads on my griddle?

Nope! This will remove all the layers of seasoning you’ve worked so hard to apply.

Can I use soap to clean my griddle?

Nope again! Never use soap to clean you griddle as it will also remove the seasoning.

Can I use olive oil for seasoning?

Because the smoke point for olive oil is lower, I wouldn’t recommend it for seasoning your griddle. For a season that lasts, stick with the high smoke point oils.

How often should I season my new griddle?

Season your new griddle before its first use to create your initial non-stick surface. After that, a quick re-season after each time you cook will keep your griddle in prime condition.

What’s the first thing I should cook on my new griddle?

If you’re just starting out try something simple and forgiving, like pancakes.This is an easy way to get acquainted with your griddle’s heat distribution. Plus, who doesn’t love a good pancake?

How do I store my griddle to keep it in good shape?

First, make sure your griddle is clean, seasoned, and completely dry. Then store it in a dry place to prevent rust.

 

Now You Can Get to Griddlin’!

Not so intimidating, right? We hope you learned a lot from this guide, and that it made you feel capable and confident in your griddle cleaning endeavors!

Let us know some of your favorite things to cook on your griddle in the comments below!

 

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